We created our Microsoft Cloud for industries with partners in mind. Working together with industry experts we expand our reach while ensuring customers have tailored solutions built on a secure foundation. Recently, I spoke with two of our partners, Backbase in banking and Avanade in healthcare, about their latest offerings. We discussed the solutions each has built on top of our Microsoft Cloud for industries and how Microsoft can continue to help partners and their customers do more with less through our trusted platform. These two valued partners face some of the same customer challenges and opportunities, though their industries are different. During our conversation, a common theme arose for all of usthe desire and need to provide value to customers through the digital transformation of industry. Learn more about how Roland Booijen, General Manager Ecosystems at Backbase, and Rob Hazelton, Senior Vice President and Global Industry Lead for Health and Life Sciences at Avanade, are helping customers take their businesses to the next level with Microsoft Cloud for industries solutions.
Madhan: Tell us a bit about what challenges your customers are facing in your respective industries.
Roland: Many financial institutions often face decades of technology taped together and a financial stack that is disjointed, product oriented rather than customer oriented, and hard to change. It is not real-time, not adaptive, and it is very expensive. Bank executives have come to realize that to have a sound business architecture, they need to fix the full technology stack, from the infrastructure to the business processes and apps, to the customer and user experience. Reimagined business architecture helps financial institutions to become real-time, adaptive, and agile with their technology and better able to serve their customers.
Rob: In healthcare, we are seeing several challenges. One is how to improve patient and member experiences. Another is how to improve the clinician experience and make the workplace more enjoyable and productive. This challenge is particularly urgent in the face of clinician burnout and the severe nursing shortage. Last but not least are the challenges presented by cost increases and lack of profitability in health systems. The good news is we can harness the power of technology to build patient experience tools, care team collaboration solutions, and administrative cost controls that leverage data and AI to address these challenges. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and its common data model enable siloed, disparate data to be unified and presented in a timely and understandable way that offers better experiences across the health continuum at reduced costs to serve.
What’s interesting is while 90 percent of organizations have a digital strategy, only 17 percent say they have a successful experience implementing modern solutions.1 Institutions that lack a modern technology stack to enable a positive patient experience directly impacts the providers’ ability to attract and retain patients.
Madhan: How are your solutions addressing these challenges?
Rob: Avanade’s Patient Experience Accelerator (PExA) is an omnichannel solution designed to address gaps in data transparency and improve access for patients to receive the right care at the right time. PExA is designed for contact centers by connecting the various backend systems agents use for assisting patients into one 360-degree view. Instead of having to reference customer relationship management (CRM) and electronic health record (EHR) systems, our solution unifies these into one view so agents can understand patient preferences, appoint availability, as well as have access to triage scripting. Capitalizing on Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare as our foundational underpinning, PExA transforms the patient experience through an engagement layer that sits on top of the EHR to create a holistic patient profile.
Roland: Our Backbase Engagement Banking Platform acts as the engagement layer while accessing Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and Microsoft Azure’s underlying capabilities. Backbase offers out-of-the-box customer journeys, as well as a full suite of capabilities to empower banks to build differentiated offerings. Next to our engagement APIs, our banking platform offers optional native mobile apps as well as responsive web apps for customers to service their accounts quickly and easily.
We optimize the user experience and can accelerate deployment between channels with feature parity and using the same underlying API. These apps are intuitive, easy to navigate, and can be easily integrated with capabilities such as Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft Power Platform to create customized chatbots to provide contextual virtual help to customers. Backbase enriches core banking platforms with search optimization using Microsoft Azure SQL. This also significantly increases performance, reduces latency and cost of calls to downstream systems. Increasing the ability for customers of a bank to self-service not only reduces those downstream costs but also increases the customer’s satisfaction as they are more in control of their experience.
Together Backbase and Microsoft enable banks to focus on the added value of our joint offering: growth of top line by seamless onboarding, cross and upsell to customers, and generically higher engagement. At the same time, we enable banks to significantly lower operating expenses by allowing customers to do more self-service and empowering bank employees with the best experience to serve, sell-to, and manage their customers’ needs. Banks can leverage our platforms and services to create value-added experiences for their customers rather than creating tomorrow’s technical debt. Microsoft and Backbase continue to innovate the platform to enable differentiation and continuity.
Madhan: What impact is this having on your customers?
Roland: Customers are delighted. We’re creating better experiences for both employees and banking customers. We set out to help banks spend more time building what their customers and employees want and less time building commodity services. Banks are finding our solutions, not only easy and quick to implement, but it is transforming their business. So, it creates an opportunity for traditional banks to transform quickly while offering neobanks to be up and running in a matter of months. In short: Refocus the energy from plumbing to value creation.
Banking customers experience the ability to self-service at any time, with the assistance of user-friendly tools to track their financial information as well as navigate specific asks through virtual agents. Combining the Backbase data transactional history of bank customers into the Microsoft Dataverse and searching data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides key employees with a holistic view of a customer to bank. This 360-degree view can empower them to have a full picture of the customer when handling their loan applications or mortgage payments, for example.
Rob: Our Patient Experience Accelerator (PExA) is new in the marketplace, having just completed a very successful proof of concept. We expect our clients will be able to provide their agents with the resources to deliver a more personalized experience and better patient engagement with our accelerator. Often there’s not one system of record for any given patient that captures both the clinical and non-clinical aspects of the patient’s health journey. This of course can require agents to dig through multiple systems to obtain the information they need to properly assist patients.
Using PExA, healthcare institutions can optimize interactions with their patients through a singular view that captures both clinical and non-clinical aspects within the patient record. Built on Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, the PExA Contact Center application enables patient access and allows agents to easily view patient information, book appointments, and send messages to providers and care teams.
PExA also includes scripts for agents to leverage during calls. Providers can create consistency across messaging and ensure a unified approach in servicing patient calls. These scripts can address day-to-day operations such as booking appointments, messaging providers, requesting medication refills, among others. Symptomatic Scripts capture the reason for the patient calling in and what are the ailments they are experiencing. The combination of call flow scripting and mini triage helps the agent direct the patient to the right type of appointment with the right provider at the right time. In the United States, the solution also takes into consideration meeting HIPAA requirements by confirming patient identity as the preliminary step for all patient interactions.
Madhan: How has the partnership with Microsoft been for you?
Rob: As some may know, Avanade has dedicated itself exclusively to the Microsoft platform since we were co-founded by Microsoft 22 years ago. We have a long and trusted relationship with Microsoft, and we are one of the earliest adopters of Microsoft technologies. Before Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare was launched publicly, Avanade was invited to the “private preview” which allowed us to begin to create accelerators and assets that personalize and extend the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare capabilities for our clients. Today we have extensive plays that really harness the power of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare for providers and plans and the tight partnership we have with Microsoft made that possible.
Roland: Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services offers an industry specific platform that allows independent software vendors (ISVs), like us, to build customized and verticalized solutions. Microsoft provides the building blocks and Backbase extends that foundation with a deeply connected customer experience. It’s a fantastic, symbiotic relationship for Microsoft, partners, and customers, like the banks and credit unions we both serve.
Where Microsoft offers all the capabilities a bank needs, Backbase provides the deep domain expertise to accelerate the transformation. Banks benefit from lower operational costs. Customers are in control and self-service is prime. At the same time, the transformation allows for a shift of focus to growth, both cross and upsell with Backbase Digital Engage as well as new customer growth.
The combination of Backbase Engagement Banking Platform and Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services allows banks and credit unions to have the best digital experience for customers and employees unique in the market.
Madhan: Thank you both for your time and for partnering with Microsoft. Your solutions help our customers take their industries to the next level.
Partners are critical to the success of our Microsoft Cloud for industries solutions. With system integrators and ISVs like Avanade and Backbase, we can extend our offering while supporting them with a secure, trusted platform and core data management tools. I’ll be sitting down with partners every so often to bring you a more in-depth look into the solutions and services they are building on top of our Microsoft Cloud for industries. I look forward to sharing our journeys together.
Madhan Arumugam Ramakrishnan leads Industry Customer and Partner Engineering (ICPE) with a mission to engineer customer and partner success on Microsoft Industry Clouds and Solutions. The team is focused on building industry solutions that are feedback-driven, reliable, and ready to scale. ICPE fulfills its mission by working closely with priority customers, ISVs, and system integrators to provide a consistent depth engineering engagement model that delivers architectures and patterns of success for building industry solutions on Microsoft Cloud.
Rob Hazelton has more than 25 years of experience in business and technology consulting, building and leading professional services organizations that leverage the latest technologies to innovate and deliver value for clients. Prior to joining Avanade, Rob spent several years in the health and life sciences industry including time at GSK and Sharecare. Today, Rob leads Avanade’s Health and Life Sciences business globally.
Roland Booijen joined Backbase just under a year ago to build the ‘Banking as a Service’ business unit. Prior to joining Backbase, Roland worked many years for ABN Amro. He was responsible for strategy and innovation driving many new initiatives like Tikkie, the Venmo in the Dutch market. With more than 20 years of banking experience, Roland is developing new value propositions by combining Backbase’s award-winning Engagement Banking Platform with lean core platforms and expanding its Fintech Marketplace, by building great new partnerships.
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Source: Microsoft Industry Blog